Immigration rules to be eased to allow NHS to recruit more staff

The removal of medical staff from the cap will create more space for other skilled migrants to work in the UK, such as engineers and teachers.Immigration rules capping the number of foreign doctors and nurses working in the UK are set to be relaxed to allow the NHS to recruit more staff, Downing Street has confirmed.

Sajid Javid, the home secretary, has set out plans to remove overseas medical staff from the annual cap on skilled workers coming to the UK from Friday, currently limited to 20,700 “tier 2” visas per year. The removal of medical staff from the cap will create more space for other skilled migrants to work in the UK, such as engineers and teachers.The move adds to growing pressure on Theresa May to ditch her party’s goal of limiting annual net migration to the “tens of thousands”. It also shows the gap between Mr Javid and the prime minister, who was known for her tough stance on immigration when she headed up the Home Office. The Home Office will lay the regulations before parliament soon, which will come into force immediately.

More than 1,500 doctors from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) had visa applications refused between December 2017 and March 2018, according to the British Medical Journal. Earlier this month, Mr Javid signalled there could be a softer approach to immigration policy under his leadership at the Home Office, including looking again at the cap on “tier 2 visas”.

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